A Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture in charge of crops, Dr Sagre Bambangi has failed to convince delegates of the Walewale constituency to renew his bid to represent the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the December 7 general election.
The two term legislator for the people of Walewale managed to secure 96 of the votes cast on Saturday when the NPP held its parliamentary primaries across the country.
He lost to a Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Northern Development Authority (NDA), Hajia Lariba Z. Abudu.
She secured 275 votes out of 622 total votes cast with her closest contender being a board member at the Ghana Free Zones Board, Dr Susana Alo Tia who had 161 votes.
Six NPP stalwarts contested the primaries in the Walewale constituency.
The Electoral Commission (EC) declared Hajia Lariba as winner of the elections, which was held at the Walewale Senior High and Technical School.
The battle between the incumbent, Dr Sagre Bambangi and the new MP hopeful started in 2011 when the female candidate narrowly lost to the Deputy Minister and subsequently had to also concede for him to go unopposed in 2016.
In an interview with THE CUSTODIAN, Hajia Lariba said her victory is for all, inviting her contenders in the race to come on board to deliver the Walewale seat to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and the NPP.
She noted the bigger hurdle is the December general election, stating that, “We need to unite to fight the opposition National Democratic Congress to retain the seat and I want to thank everyone who has made it possible for us to have a successful and peaceful elections.”
For his part, Dr Sagre Bambangi pledged his unflinching support for the new candidate.
“When I set out to contest for the position as Member of Parliament for the Walewale constituency in 2011; I prayed to the Almighty God that if I am the one to lead the NPP, let it be and if not, then let the winning candidate emerge and it happened and I was also retained as an incumbent candidate in 2015.
“I had the same prayer this time round when we were going into the contest and I prayed fervently to my God to let us get a winning candidate for the New Patriotic Party. So I believe that my prayer has been answered because the winner is capable and I think the delegates didn’t make a mistake” he stated.
Hajia Alima Mahama wins
Meanwhile, aside the Walewale constituency, the NPP also had elections at Nalerigu/Gambaga and the Bunkprugu constituencies where the incumbent Members of Parliament won massively.
The Minister for Local Government and Rural Development and MP for Nalerigu/Gambaga, Hajia Alima Mahama had a landslide victory, garnering 484 votes out of a total of 670 votes cast with her closest rival getting just 98.
The North East Regional Minister and MP for Bunkprugu, Mr Solomon Boar also had majority votes of 261, leaving his main contender with 127 votes.
Addressing the candidates and their supporters, the North East Regional Chairman of the NPP, Chairman Nuru indicated the party must now unite to win the Walewale.
According to him, the opposition NDC has no powers in the area except the powers of the NPP and further noted with the support of Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, the NPP will win all six constituencies in the North East region.
Chairman Nuru, however, warned any recalcitrant party member who will foment trouble to disturb the peace and unity of the NPP in the area will not spared.
“We will invoke article 47 of the party’s constitution to sanction you and move forward because NPP is bigger than any individual including myself as the Regional Chairman,” he noted.